Flowermouth get abrasive on Urethane

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I like it when I have to learn new stuff. So thanks to four fellas from Perth, I now know what urethane is. Cheers guys!

That’s because Urethane is exactly the name of one of the songs of Flowermouth’s brand new release, Cassette Single. Cassette Single also contains a cover of Nervous Breakdown by Black Flag, and I already knew about them because my brother loves Henry Rollins, so Flowermouth doesn’t get any educational credit for that one.


With a solid one/ two combo of punk and grunge, Perth outfit Flowermouth rock relentlessly on Cassette Single. Brazen and tough, just like rock should be.

So, what does a track titled after a white crystalline organic compound sound like? I’ll give you a hint: it sounds like a band that would cover Black Flag. Raw, hardcore, dirty, brazen, recalcitrant, abrasive. I could keep impressing you and your mums with my vocabulary, but I’m pretty sure you’ve got the idea. These lads are punks. They’re ready to shock; they’re ready to rock. Truth be told though, there is something else there, hiding in plain sight: grunge. This band’s sound is like punk-grunge, and I might be pulling that one out of my arse.

Immediately, Urethane sounds like a punk track, with bashing cymbals and biting riffs; quickly though, the beats-per-minute doesn’t quite stack up. This is too slow! And then the start goes away, and we’re left with, for a while, a simple, plodding and crusty rhythm. The vocals join up soon too, and are delivered in that ol’ sort of loud talking style that Wil Wagner also does with The Smith Street Band.

So in both hands we have some sort of punky chew going on, with all that adolescent rage that renders snarkiness the one-size-fits-all to social situations, but on the other hand we have the mopey, emotional self-flagellating wading that grunge brings to the table.

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Right up next on the Cassette Single – which, by the way is available on cassette for those whose hipster game is strong – is Nervous Breakdown, which is unequivocally way better than the original. I say that, but it’s not terribly different from the base version. If you like Black Flag though, you’ll probably like this cover of their song.

We need a bit something more, don’t we? I’ve already decided so, anyway. Make Your Mind is off their previous EP Nostalgia, that came out in May last year. It doesn’t sound a million miles from what Flowermouth is plumping for in Urethane; it has a nice mix of grunge and punk, and those loud talking vocals, but perhaps importantly or mischievously, has a slight dash of pop punk in there. A bit of melody, is what I’m trying to say, that draws one in.

We’ve also got Tell Me, the sixth and last track off Nostalgia, which stands out for its grunginess. It’s clearly their heaviest track going about, and in fact sounds like some proto-stage between underground punk and a nascent sludge scene. Whenever Cyberdyne Systems figures out one-way time travel, they should hitch a ride with Arnie (or Robert Patrick, whatever) and rock up in 80s/early 90s Seattle. They’d be the tits.

If you like what you see and/or hear, the boys will be launching Cassette Single at the Amplifier in Perth, on Saturday 18 July.

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